Kyrene School District officials on Tuesday presented a capital plan for the upcoming 2013-14 school year to its governing board, hoping to modify its current “run to failure” effort to fund capital needs. With its biggest challenge of funding capital items like leaky roofs, air conditioning towers and rusted water pipes, the district is modifying its “run to failure” plan to only pay for high-priority projects and maintenance projects with excessive or recurring costs. Kyrene Superintendent Dr. David Schauer said on Tuesday that the plan is “not something we are happy about, but something we believe we can do.” Still waiting on whether bond legislation from the state will come out in favor of school districts this summer, district chief financial officer Jeremy Calles said select schools with the high-priority capital needs will be addressed first. “The pile is only growing bigger and bigger each year,” Calles said.
This past school year, some school classrooms were flooded due to water pipe breaks and other buildings evacuated from sewer pipe smells.
During a meeting at the district office this week, Calles showed the board photos of severely rusted pipes at Kyrene del Pueblo Middle School in Chandler. If bond sales for school districts are approved by the state Legislature, Kyrene can have the flexibility to move its capital outlay revenue limit over to maintenance and operations to “effectively wipe out the deficit for the upcoming year,” according to Calles. The district currently faces a budget deficit of $8.9 million for the 2013-14 school year. “We can then change the conversation from what we need to cut to what are our priorities of restoration are,” Calles said.
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